Joined on 10/25/09
Weak, breaks, cheap
Pros: It's cheap but still not that great of a price, it's fairly compact but only small enough to fit into a large athletic bag or very large purse. I use this for dance rehearsal in studios or places with no sound system and bringing in a huge boom box isn't convenient. It basically allows you to play sound when earphones are not possible (working out/rehearsals).
Cons: There are way too many. First, the maximum volume is still barely audible (and I have super-sensitive ears), I feel like if I set the volume any higher it will burst the tiny speakers (but I do and it's never burst so far). The plastic breaks easily, the stand is now broken, cover is broken, and the cable is really hard to get out of its head-seat unless you have long nails.
Overall Review: I would only recommend this if you just need some barely audible sound in rural/remote places with no power/technology and you don't plan on this lasting longer than a year. Lastly, do NOT leave the batteries in for an extended period of time (more than a few hours), they will burst (that's how my cover broke).
Cheap but Slow (but not that cheap either)
Pros: Low cost and high capacity, though not that great of a deal. The "cap" does stay on and is pretty secure, it does take quite a bit of strenght to remove it each time.
Cons: The write speed is 2.12MB/sec, this is way too slow for my needs since I need to transfer video files on a shoot location. The overall design and quality still feels like the unit will break apart if you don't handle it gently.
Overall Review: We did loose data once during a write of a 4.4GB disk image. We formatted the filesystem to HFS+, once the data got corrupted during a write and we lost everything. Good thing we had a backup.
Decent Fast (static-platform) Portable Drive
Pros: The drive comes as HFS+J (Mac Extended format with Journaling) formatted as one partition encompassing about 499GB (99.8%) of the drive with the last 1GB used for a built-in "Virtual CD" partition that contains the drivers, Mac and Windows programs, instructions, etc. You need to manually print the instructions (including the installation instructions) from the "Virtual CD" as the drive does not come with any hard copy of any instruction manual... so basically you need to figure out how to connect and mount the drive on your own or elsewhere before you can actually get to the instructions. The HFS+J partition only works with Macs, if you want to use it with Macs and PC/Linux then you need to run Disk Utility on a Mac and reformat the partition to HFS+ (Mac Extended without Journaling) and set the permissions to "Everyone: Read & Write". I wasn't able to find a way to simply disable Journaling, so I had to reformat the partition. Linux will mount an HFS+J partition but only as rea
Cons: The cables that come with the drive have incorrect labelling, if you try to roughly connect them you will damage the ports, below is the list of corrections to make: Drive Ports: FW800: Inverted USB-B: Inverted (Basically, the top side of the ports are facing you when you hold the drive upside down and the drive's undercarriage is facing you) Cable: FW800 to FW800: "Bilingual" label side is up, "WD" label side is down. FW800 to FW400: "Bilingual" label side is down on the FW800 end, FW400 end is correct. USB-A to USB-B: Inverted on both sides (USB-B label is on wrong side) I made my own labels on paper and taped them over the cables to cover the incorrect ones. Note that WD might have corrected the problem since I wrote this so you might have the correctly labelled cables.
Overall Review: As for performance, using Firewire (FW400/FW800 cable) the write performance is roughly 1GB per 2.5 seconds. The performance for USB 2.0 varies, Sometimes it takes only a minute to write 1GB, other times it can take up to 10 minutes (happens on all systems). Use Firewire/IEEE 1394 whenever possible. The case is a bit slippery to hold so be careful not to drop it. You can set the label that displays on the screen on the front of the drive with the WD Smartware program. Note that this label is NOT the disk label, that needs to be set/changed with Disk Utility or Finder. The drive will overheat and has overheated at least once in the month that I have worked with it. The WD Smartware program does not report the temprature. Make sure you are working in an environment under 80F degrees, basically if it is too hot for you it is too hot for the drive.
Hungry little critter! (Battery eater)
Pros: Wireless, so it means you can bring it around any part of the table or your work area and not have to re-route that pesky "tail". seriously, I really didn't find it that convenient though. I did like the fairly rugged design, it looked like it was made in the 1970's (or whenever they made things to last). But the battery cover does feel a bit frail and thin (be gentle with it).
Cons: This critter eats up two AA's every 3 days. Rechargeable batteries won't last so don't bother. Turn off the mouse whenever you step away from the computer (even to idle for a minute). The glass-like surface gets dirty really quick, and I clean my hands and the surface of the mouse every day. Since you have to "pet the mouse" (brush your fingers across) to scroll, the dirt fragments really get irritating after a while and scrolling that way becomes so un-precise you want to use the scroll bars after a while.
Overall Review: Make sure you are prepared to supply your new pet with a steady diet of batteries.
Cheap and it works
Pros: The legs are sturdy and do not change shape unless manipulated by hand. Super easy to make precision adjustments to the attitude of the mounted camera by just adjusting the legs. Holds my Sony handycam quite well. Extremey good design at a tiny cost.
Cons: You have to twist the whole tripod to mount/iunmount it to/from the camera. The only surface you could not mount it on would be a flat surface at a steep incline.